Interspersed among the travel hacking community are people who want to earn points and miles but don’t travel frequently. For them, gathering a dozen credit cards with high annual fees probably isn’t the way to go. If you’re a casual traveler, there are still cards available that can help make your trip cheaper and more convenient. Here are the top five cards that benefit infrequent travelers.
Cards That Offer 2% Cash Back
Most credit cards that offer 2% back have no annual fee and they allow you to use the rewards on anything you want. That means you can use them at your local hardware store or to travel the world. The choice is yours. The more you spend, the more cash you earn. Examples of cash back cards are the Citi Double Cash Card and the Fidelity Rewards Visa.
The Barclay Arrival Plus Card
Looking for a card with no annual fee for the first year that offers more travel bonuses? Try the Barclay Arrival Plus Card. They offer you a 40,000 point bonus when you sign-up that you can put towards $400 worth of travel expenses. This flexible card also lets you earn miles that can be redeemed as 1 cent each towards anything travel related. Still not convinced? How about a 5% travel redemption rebate and 2 miles earned on every dollar you spend? That’s travel money back in your pocket at the end of each term.
The IHG Rewards Club MasterCard
If you’re willing to pay an annual fee, the IHG Rewards Club MasterCard is an affordable choice. For $49 annually, you’ll get 2 points for every dollar spent at grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations. For most consumers, that will add up quickly. In addition to points, you’ll also receive a yearly free certificate towards one night at any IHG hotel around the world. With 4,600 IHG hotels worldwide, you’re sure to find somewhere you want to go. The benefits of this card well exceeds the annual fee.
The Citi ThankYou Premier Card
Looking for a card with good payouts on a variety of everyday needs? The Citi ThankYou Premier Card offers you 2x the points on entertainment and dining out as well as 3x the points on anything travel related including purchases at gas stations. These are categories that most people use on a regular basis, so you should easily earn enough back to cover the $95 annual fee (starting the year after you sign up) and still have enough to pay for your travel expenses.
The Sapphire Reserve Card
The fee on the Sapphire Reserve Card may seem steep at $450 annually, but when you consider the $300 of travel charges it offers, that knocks it back to a more affordable $150. For that price, you’ll receive a variety of benefits. The Ultimate Rewards Points can be redeemed for hotel stays, flights, activities and direct bookings through the Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal. You also get TSA PreCheck and Global Entry to rush you through security and immigration, as well as free airport lounge access and 3 points back on every dollar you spend on travel and dining which makes earning rewards fast and easy.
Depending on how much you’d like to spend annually, there are a vast array of cards that can help the infrequent traveler. Think about what type of rewards you’d like to receive and choose the best card for your needs.